A Simplified Social Media Strategy for Your Business
Rather than go big to reach candidates on social media, consider taking a more targeted approach across platforms to reach talent that meets your criteria.
By: Catherine Conlan
If you’re looking for top candidates to help grow your business, social recruiting is key. While social media platforms are increasingly one of the best ways to find them, these platforms can help simplify your social media strategy.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than a third of people who use social media have used it to look for or research jobs, while more than 20% have applied for a job they learned about through social media. It’s a great way to get your message directly to top candidates, if you do it right.
“Social media is a great recruiting tool because it is so widely used and can serve as a low-cost resource for small businesses,” says Amanda Florentine, people operations coordinator at Atlanta-based Kabbage, which provides small-business loans. “Companies are better able to share both their job openings and their culture with prospective candidates thanks to social media.”
Even better -- your social media strategy can be both talent-focused and customer-focused.
Here’s how to do it at your company.
Pick Your Platform
It’s tempting to want to cast as wide a net as possible. Think again, says Brooke Zambroski, former social media specialist at Monster. Zambroski says it’s important not to spread yourself too thin.
“Trying to be everywhere on social media often means you don’t succeed anywhere,” she says. Instead, get to know each platform and determine which is the best fit.
“If your business is visual, stick to Instagram as your main channel,” Zambroski says. “If you have lots of customer requests, be on Twitter. If you are part of a small community, sometimes Facebook makes sense.”
Zambroski says Monster has found that job seekers are on Facebook after work and during lunchtime. “Sometimes we can get their attention during their morning commute as well on Twitter,” she says. “Instagram is purely visual, so regardless of when you post, you need a captivating image to be thumb-stopping. Bold colors and people’s faces and short videos of cool processes -- think cake frosting or assembly lines -- typically perform well too.”
And no matter what platform you choose, make sure the links back to your job postings are optimized for mobile recruiting, Zambroski says. “Most people access social media from their phones, so taking them somewhere that’s hard to click through will lose them as a job candidate.”
Highlight Your Unique Proposition
Social media platforms are crowded. To be noticed, you need to make a quick case about what makes your organization special.
“Be very clear with who you are as a business, what your business does and how your company adds value to its social media viewers,” says Wade Pierson, owner of Impact Talent Ventures, a talent-management firm in Medford Township, New Jersey.
To attract the kind of followers who are interested in working for you, Pierson suggests building a consistent employer brand message around your company mission, niche and company culture. With every job description, include clear instructions on how to further engage with the company, he adds, whether it’s to comment, ask a question or apply for a job.
Leverage Your Current Employees
Your employees have friends -- people who are similar to them and who may be a good fit for your company. And chances are your employees are connected to those friends on social media, and those friends have an audience as well. Making it easy for your employees to share information about jobs at your company will help reach a targeted audience of possible candidates – and boost your company’s recruiting results.
“There’s no magic here other than an internal campaign to encourage your employees to share the social job postings often, and make it easy for them to do so,” says Fletcher Wimbush, CEO of The Hire Talent in Brea, California. Wimbush recommends emailing employees periodically with a shareable link to current openings and a reminder to share with their friends.
Provide More than Job Opportunities
Sharing your job openings all the time can turn a social channel into a job board, and that takes away the point of social media: sharing and conversation. Create a social media strategy that's interesting enough for people to come back often. Post original content and expert information that engages readers, Pierson says.
“You want to post about 80% quality information, statistics and facts, and only about 20% of your posts should be about job openings,” Pierson says. “You don’t want to make your social media presence an ongoing infomercial about your business and how great it is. The key is to keep them coming back, as they are learning industry skills and information via your posts.”
Think of Customers as Candidates, and Vice-Versa
Social media can help you do more than recruit candidates -- it can help lure customers as well. With a strong enough social employer brand, you can grow your audience and even turn people who are already employed into prospective candidates down the line.
Attracting customers and employees uses a lot of the same tactics, Zambroski says. “Be authentic and show what makes you different. So if you’re taking the time to build an employer brand, you are giving a sneak peek into your small business,” she says. “This helps customers trust you more and see you as human -- rather than a faceless company.
The same principle works in opposite, adds Zambroski. “If someone likes you enough to follow you on social media, they are more likely to want to work for you. They know your name already and made an effort to connect. All you have to do is let them know you’re hiring.”